Tuesday, June 11, 2013

위로 이동 Gutenberg

(title translation: "Move Over Gutenberg")

While I've known this before, Johannes Gutenberg was not the first to invent a printing process based on movable type.  Such information was even included in the Gutenberg Printing Press Museum I visited in Mainz, Germany in 2011.  I know this is shocking to many of my readers who are so steeped into the lore of Western History's slant on the existence of the planet.

About 600 years before Gutenberg developed a movable type printing press in central Europe, the Chinese were transitioning from carved wooden blocks to ceramic blocks for printing purposes.  Then 400 years later, still 200 years prior to Gutenberg, the Koreans took this Chinese technology and made it even more modern by creating metal blocks for their alphabet.

Regardless of who did it "first", the ability to produce reading material in an ever increasingly rapid manner has had a significant impact on the increase in literacy, education, and thus economic development throughout the world.  When more can read more understand.  When more understand they act.

For more information on the historic importance of metal movable type within Korea, check out this World History unit from the Annenberg Foundation.  If you watch the pop-up Video on Demand, the portion on Korea begins at the 10:50 minute mark.

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